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What Should We Say to People Wearing Fur?

October 1, 2014 by Leave a Comment


During the winter of 2014, fur was everywhere, which made a bad winter even worse for people who care about animals. In urban areas, activists could easily cross paths with hundreds of fur wearers each day – leaving some of us feeling frustrated, helpless and hopeless.

Fur coat

So what do we say, if anything, to people wearing fur in 2015? Does saying nothing and turning a blind eye make us complicit? Author Jonathan Safran Foer once stated, “Not responding is a response – we are equally responsible for what we don’t do.”

But what is the most effective approach with fur wearers? Starting a dialog by asking if the fur is real? Shaming them with the hope that they’ll be skittish about wearing fur in the future? Any discomfort experienced by the people we address pales in comparison to the agony experienced by the animals who they are wearing.

Photo by Emily McCoy

Photo by Emily McCoy

I use several different approaches with the hope that one will emerge as the most effective. When I say, “I love your coat! I hate animals too,” some people respond by laughing nervously. One woman asked if I was being “nasty,” which opened the door to a dialog. She said she “couldn’t argue” with my points but that she also couldn’t give up her “vintage” fur. In the end, I used flattery with her in an attempt to effect change: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but a glamorous woman like you wearing fur encourages others to do the same.” (P.S. Nothing about her was glamorous).

Sometimes I say, “OH MY GOD. Your coat looks just like my dog” with a nonjudgmental, matter of fact tone. Invariably, people respond with a terrified “No” as if I actually thought that they were wearing my dog. By referencing a dog, my hope is to help people connect the dots between companion animals and those used for fur.

Last winter, I placed a few “I am an asshole. I wear fur” stickers on people after “accidentally” stumbling and falling into them. “I’m so sorry! I must have tripped on something.”  I need to get more of those.

PETA, which is still regarded by some as the red paint throwers, suggests a polite approach that could trigger a conversation. They’ve even created an instructional video:

What do you do, and do you think it’s effective?

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Robert Roy says:

    How about approaching your local Hell’s Angels chapter and asking them about their leather jackets instead of women? Or is that too ‘confrontational’ for you?

  2. Robert Roy says:

    How about responding with ‘and what about YOUR clothes? Made by child labourers in Asian sweatshops for a pittance?’ Yeah, suck on that!

  3. Sam_Iam says:

    Here’s a thought – say nothing. Mind your own business. Whether others choose to wear fur or not is none of your concern. You have the right to purchase the clothing items you like, and others have the same right.

    1. Al says:

      Here’s another thought.. Take your head out of your ass and watch a few videos on how the animals are raised and slaughtered for your vanity!

    2. Ashley says:

      I’m with Sam Lam here! How is it any of your business what I wear? By minding MY business all you are doing is upsetting yourself! (Doesn’t seem like a smart thing to do). Does PETA believe that a woman with a low cut blouse or short skirt is automatically a “slut”? Why then make judgments about others morality/character by what others wear? I’m a guy and have two rabbit fur scarfs and a full length fox fur coat. (I’m an Investment Banker and when I worked in Eastern Europe, one of my clients gifted me the coat, more of a status symbol in EE business circles). I wear them because I want to, can’t care less if you approve or not!

      1. Donny Moss says:

        When you clothing has victims, it becomes our business. What kind of people would we be if we didn’t speak out for those who were needlessly tortured and killed for vanity?

  4. Chris says:

    I don’t have any fur–but I have been pickpocketed before. I’m ready for random bumps now and I respond quickly and forcefully to any intrusion into my private space. If some asswipe gets in my space and bumps me, he/she is going to be missing a tooth when they pick themselves up off the pavement–and that is if they are lucky. Bumping people is moronic.

  5. Azula says:

    To those who suggest a more combative approach eg paint/stickers…that is, action without talking first. What happens if it turns out that the “fur” is fake? Personally I would talk to the person first, politely. But my original question is not rhetorical. What would you do if you made a mistake?

  6. Maylene says:

    Have you tried, you know, just having a normal civilized discussion with people who wear fur? They are often just ignorant to the cruelty of the fur industry rather than supportive of it, and acting like an immature asshole only antagonizes people to your cause and makes you look like an idiot.

  7. Cody Wright says:

    I would have knocked the shit out of you if I ever caught you putting a sticker on me. I would have laughed at you too if you you tried telling preaching your views to me in public but it wouldn’t have been a nervous laugh.

    1. Cody wright or should i say Wrong? Your attitude explains why people should just leave your kind to rot in ignorant bliss.wanker.

  8. Right away I am going away to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast coming over again to read
    more news.

  9. Peter says:

    Just tell a furwearer that it hurts you deeply seeing them wear fur because most people don’t want to hurt other people.

  10. Natasha Brenner says:

    I sometimes say, “How can you stand the cries of the tortured animals?”

  11. Julie VAn Ness says:

    I usually say, Fur looks most beautiful on its original owner.

  12. Ginger says:

    The stickers are hilarious! I think all of these approaches are great. Unfortunately, none of them will work with everyone, but I do think I see less fur as the years go on. Peta did such an excellent job that I never even considered wanting one knowing how cruel it is.

    1. Michelle says:

      fur has its place in society . I love fur . Fur in Texas has always been very strong . Working in fur sales last 15 years . Very strong in Texas . We do not suffer the same financial set backs as the rest of the country . Well not in the fur groups I travel in .

      1. above: heartless wierdo says:

        Seriously? People wear the skin of dead animals on their back? That sounds prehistoric. I love animals and it is sad uncivilized apes like you like ruining the lives of animals for your own ego. Are fur people mentally sick? They need help, and so do the animals. Help them by not murdering them in the name of your slanted egotistical needs, Michelle. I feel sorry for you that you think what you are doing is okay:(.

      2. above: heartless wierdo says:

        HEy, you know who likes their fur/skin/lives? The animals who lost them!

    2. Faux says:

      Here are some tips.
      1. Politely ask if the coat is real(if real read 2⬇)

      2. Ask if it is vintage or new. Vintage more then 10 years. (Continue)

      3 if it is vintage tell them that when people see a person wearing a fur item then others might want to do the same. I own vintage and I personally say thanks for not killing new animals an not wasting the already dead’s lives.

      3. If it is new try to tell them facts, and convince them why what they are wearing is wrong. I always am polite, unless they aren’t. Trying to inform them is good, hopefully others overhear as well.

      Now if they are being mean then tell them that you aren’t trying to say what the can and cannot wear, but you are informing them how he coat was made and what it tells others.

      4. If al else fails, insult them. If it results to this (sadly more and more it does) I use these responses
      1. Wow are you fat? Guess since you are carrying 50+ animals on your back.

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